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Stopovers on Santiago-Puerto Montt Drive?

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Dec 11th, 2012, 08:26 AM
  #1
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Stopovers on Santiago-Puerto Montt Drive?

I am driving with my family (kids, 9 & 11) and have 5 nights to get from Santiago to Puerto Montt. We have already been to Puerto Montt twice, including the lake district around, but have spent no time north of Puerto Montt. Ideas for stopovers? We're an active family, and the kids are pretty rugged. We like hiking and beaches. The kids would love to find an estancia -- we stayed at one in Argentina a couple of years ago. Any ideas are welcome. Thanks.
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Dec 14th, 2012, 11:59 AM
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Hotel Gran Pacifico offers a gym, sauna, game room equipped with billards and board games, spa that can be enjoyed on site. Activities they can arrange for you and your family are hiking, hot springs, nightlife, bird watching, Cathedral, trips to the shopping area, fishing, sightseeing tours, trips to the lake, craft market and forest. Hotel Puerto Sur offers family friendly activities like ocean trips, sailing, cycling, trips to the port, nature reserve, shopping area, dolphin and whale watching, cattle ranch and wildlife observation.
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Dec 14th, 2012, 12:00 PM
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I hope that this information helps, if you need anymore suggestions feel free to ask!

Happy Travels,
Danielle - Latin America For Less
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Dec 15th, 2012, 08:05 AM
  #4
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Sisterbay: have you considered Termas de Chillán, Pucón and Frutillar/Puerto Varas as possible stopovers? They are all worthwhile stops.

Some very useful tips were provided in a thread on the same subject that you have raised, some years ago: http://www.fodors.com/community/sout...erto-montt.cfm .
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Dec 17th, 2012, 07:46 PM
  #5
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EGC - Thanks - I'll check out the old thread. Yes, we've been to Puerto Varas. Termas de Chillan sounds promising...do you know if it might be similar to Termas de Peyehue (not sure if I'm spelling that right) on the road to Bariloche? We stayed there when the kids were babies. I was thinking that they'd like that sort of thing now.

We have not stopped at Pucon before, either. Anything specific ideas for what to do/where to stay? Seems to be a lot of options.
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Dec 18th, 2012, 03:39 AM
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We stayed near Pucon in Villarica at a great bed and breakfast -- there is lots of hiking in the area and the owners are great at assisting with activities

http://www.hosteriadelacolina.com/

We did a plane ride over the Volcano and others hiked to the rim, but there are tamer sites to see as well!
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Dec 18th, 2012, 09:23 AM
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Anyone have advice on whether or not to visit the falls at Salto del Laja? This was a highlight 40 years ago (for a family member who lived there) but I've heard it is smaller now. We were just at Niagara Falls last summer, so I'm worried it will be a let-down. Might be nice if there are other things to do around it, though. Kids are 9 and 11.
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Dec 18th, 2012, 03:16 PM
  #8
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Sisterbay,

Yes, the falls at Salto del Laja was THE highlight of central Chile, 40-50 years ago Nowadays, for many it will be something of a let-down, but for others, nostalgia can make the world seen through rose-tinted lenses...

I have never been to Termas de Puyehue, but Termas de Chillán has become a very sought-after destination for families, with many attractions for kids, including some of the "Adventure" type.

Another nice place for families, but in a lesser and quieter scale, (and much closer to the Panamericana Highway) is Termas de Quinamávida, near Linares.

Both of these Termas have good informative webpages.

Good luck!
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Dec 18th, 2012, 06:58 PM
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Driving down the coast looks intriguing, but I am not finding many lodging options. Is it true that there isn't much there? We like off the beaten path, but not being stranded. Punta de Lobos looks like possibly a good stop. Is this a good coast town -- or are there others that are better? Any good beaches south of Santiago (we'll be driving south from Cajon de Maipo, so don't want to backtrack up to Valparaiso)?
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Dec 19th, 2012, 05:05 PM
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Driving along (or near) the coast in those very rural corners of Chile can be really great. Despite the natural beauty and the wild scenery of those regions, there isn't much there in terms of number and variety of coastal resorts to choose from, or variety of accommodation, for that matter.

Pichilemu (and its nearby beach Punta de Lobos) are pretty scenic and fun spots in which most of the tourism infrastructure tends to aim at surfers.

Further south you have: Llico, Iloca/Lipimávida (and nearby Lake Vichuquén), Constitución, Pelluhue/Curanipe and Cobquecura /Buchupureo. Arguably, these two last ones may be the most relaxing as well as attractive, scenically speaking, among the above lot, but all of them have for sure lots of charm and most boast very picturesque and little-explored hinterlands with pretty colonial-style towns. For many, the latter are the real hidden treasure of middle Chile although sadly they suffered significant damage as a result of the 2010 earthquake.

With some exceptions, the touristic infrastructure of those resorts and small towns is not terribly developed and is certainly not upmarket. However, economical and functional cabanas are found almost everywhere. It's rather unlikely that you encounter big crowds in those places during January, except for weekends, but it's better to know ahead of time.
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Dec 21st, 2012, 08:33 PM
  #11
 
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Sisterbay:

https://picasaweb.google.com/stuartt...ocheArgentina#

...taken on my more recent visit to Chile, these selected pics feature many of the places mentioned in above posts, including PM, PV, Frutillar, Pucon, etc. I further suggest you stop at Hacienda Los Lingues en route from Santiago south (about 120 kms, and a dirt road just off Pan Am Hwy #5...see pics of horse show at the hacienda)..kids might enjoy the environment which also offers trail rides, etc.

In Pucon alongside beautiful Lake Villarica, I recommend the outstanding Antumulal Hotel (see pix)...short way from the volcano which dominates the town...there is also a black sand beach at the other major hotel (The Grand)in Pucon (see pix).

In Frutillar, the Kleine Salzburg B and B is delightful, overlooking Lake Llanquihue and its pier, and Mt. Osorno on the horizon, snow covered.

Petrohue Falls near PV is gorgeous...and I noted the mention of Salta del Laja (near Chilean Los Angeles...see pics).

The Municipal Market cafes in Temuco offers what I feel is the best of my favorite Chilean dishes, humitas and pastel del choclo! Mapuche Indians in their typical dress abound in and near Temuco and Osorno.

The fish markets and tiny cafes in the Angelmo district of PM would be good for the kids to see. Cafes offer myriad sea food dishes...delicious.

In Santiago's upscale Providencia district "Acqui esta Coca" an establishment in what looks like private home is excellent and seemingly very reasonable if I recall properly.

Enjoy your trip...Chile is most interesting, the people friendly and helpful..the scenic wonders awesome.

Stu Tower
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